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Apparatus and method for controlling a ribbon transport mechanism

Image Number 2 for United States Patent #7052194.

An apparatus for controlling a ribbon transport mechanism of a ribbon feed system includes a supporting structure carrying a plurality of ribbon transport devices including a ribbon storage spool, a ribbon take-up spool, and at least one ribbon guide around which roller the ribbon is passed, a ribbon feed path including the ribbon guide, between the storage and take-up spools and through an operating station where a work operation is carried out which utilises the ribbon, the ribbon transport mechanism in use, transporting the ribbon along the ribbon feed path between the storage and take-up spools, the apparatus including a mounting structure for mounting at least one of the ribbon transport devices so as to permit the respective device to move relative to the supporting structure in response to changes in ribbon tension occurring in the ribbon feed path, and a sensor device which is sensitive to such movements to provide an input which is dependant upon the extent of such spool movement, to a controller, the controller controlling operation of the transport mechanism in response.

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